POSTED IN FG Family ON 08 December, 2020
08 Dec FG Market Drayton Turns 20!
MARKET DRAYTONTurns 20!
Nestled in the idyllic town of Market Drayton, this Francesco Group salon has stood for 20 years, helping thousands of clients to feel beautiful and uplifted, whilst simultaneously being the training ground for countless Apprentices and trainees, giving them the tools to become future hairdressing stars.
For the entirety of this time, salon owner Kate Mantle has been at the helm, making an incalculable number of clients feel wonderful and being a hands-on educator for her team, to ensure that they too have this magical ability to make people feel wonderful.
We spoke to Kate about the highlights of the last 20 years and in particular her 20th year, which turned out to be the most unusual of them all.
What are your salon highlights over the last 20 years?
Kate – I was so thrilled when we were placed 2nd across the whole Group as Top Salon of 2013 at the Francesco Group awards; with over 40 salons to compete with, this was no easy feat! I also love seeing my team members succeed, becoming Trainee Of The Year finalists and winners, most recently our Apprentice Dione won this much coveted award in 2018, I was so proud. Another big achievement was when Heather Shaw, (now Creative Director at Francesco Group) competed in the hair Olympics, Trendvision, and won Gold! We worked together at Francesco Group Market Drayton for many years and I saw how much work she put into her win. It’s so wonderful getting to experience so many highs, nothing makes me happier than seeing my team thrive.
Can you tell us about when you decided to become the owner of Francesco Group Market Drayton? Why was it the right salon for you?
Kate – I worked at FG Shrewsbury as part of my work experience in 1990, then I became an apprentice in 1992. I was approached by Jon (my previous employer) to join him in opening up Market Drayton in 2000 and manage it for him. At that point I was a Senior Stylist and in-salon trainer, but I always craved the next step. We then sat down with Pete Dellicompagni (FG’s Chairman) and he suggested us being partners, under the condition that I buy Jon out after 5 years, which I did. It was exciting starting a brand-new salon, FG was well known in Market Drayton so we soon became busy; it was a big change, going from Shrewsbury to such a small town, but I loved the community feel, everyone knows everyone and they welcomed us with open arms.
What’s the secret to running a successful salon?
Kate – Looking after your team and creating a good working environment for them to thrive in, they will always leave and progress which can be difficult, but knowing you’ve given them the tools in which to succeed it makes it all worthwhile. Equally important is providing quality hairdressing and training, which is what Francesco Group is renowned for.
What is your favourite part of the job?
Kate – It has to be working on the shop floor! I love the atmosphere and get such a buzz when we are busy! I love it when a client feels relaxed, especially in these times as it’s a bit of escapism from the chaos that is 2020. Doing clients hair is like catching up with friends every day, I have clients who have been with me since the beginning who I’m so close with, I feel very fortunate to be in a job I love. It’s been a tough year for a lot of clients, especially those working at the local hospitals and to give them a well-deserved pamper gives us such satisfaction.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start their own FG salon?
Kate – Go for it! It’s hard work but the rewards you get really do outweigh the hard work. Being a salon owner within Francesco Group gives you the opportunity to be on the salon floor growing the team and salon, all the while getting the support from Head Office, from HR to Marketing to Health & Safety and everything in between.
What’s it like being a salon owner during a pandemic – do you feel the longevity of the salon and your experience has been on your side?
Kate – This year has definitely been my toughest yet because of the unpredictability of it all, being in lockdown unable to open the salon was the hardest, not seeing my fabulous team and being unable to see my wonderful clients. Obviously, I loved being at home with my husband and daughter and having that time with them was precious (sometimes)!
I work best under pressure which really helped in this environment, as the way we worked in the salon changed massively. Having the salon for 20 years helped immensely, clients were so supportive throughout lockdown one and two, and knowing I needed to ensure they felt safe in the salon was of utmost importance to me. My team are a massive support and I feel that this year has brought us all even closer. I have learnt a lot during this year and couldn’t have got through it without the support from Anya Dellicompagni (FG’s Managing Director) and the team from Head office, Anya is always there for me whatever time, I couldn’t have asked for more.
Congratulations on a successful 20 years, your #FGFamily are so proud!